The Liberal Non-Confidence Motion


Well, this is actually starting to look promising:

“In light of the government’s failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada’s economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy and to help workers and businesses in hard-pressed sectors such as manufacturing, the automotive industry and forestry, this House has lost confidence in this government and is of the opinion that a viable alternative government can be formed within the present House of Commons.”

Apparently Dion would head up the coalition government, at least for the first few months.

Update: Jay Hill speaking on behalf of the government has issued a motion of his own formally requesting that the House communicate with Governor General Michaëlle Jean, accepting the Speech from the Throne (and tacitly Flaherty’s Economic and Fiscal update).

That the Address be engrossed and presented to Her Excellency the Governor General by the Speaker.

Acceptance by the House of Commons of a Speech from the Throne is an expression of confidence in the government. I am pleased that the House endorsed our government’s general program, particularly with full knowledge of the content of the Economic and Fiscal update. Yesterday’s vote and today’s motion to communicate with the Governor General accepting her Speech are critical demonstrations of Parliament’s affirmation of our newly re-elected government.

Seems like they’re trying to do an end-run around the opposition and circumvent their pending non-confidence motion by delaying it for perhaps a week.

Shopped to Death on “Black Friday”

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island, New York, store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”


Update: The spirit of Christmas at Wal-Mart. Shoppers scrap violently over the last sale item.

Update2: More madness from a Toys ‘R’ Us store in California, where two people were shot to death, apparently in an argument over a toy…

Harper Backs Down


Good news, I suppose, but one wonders whether the opposition parties might still be considering forming a coalition to defeat the Conservatives. It seems highly unlikely given how problematic such an arrangement would be, but Flaherty’s prescriptions for the economy don’t exactly inspire much confidence. Nor, for that matter do the mixed messages coming from the prime minister. Today it’s noted that our dollar weakened this morning by as much as 1 percent and stocks on the TSE dropped yesterday to their lowest level since 2003.

Cartoon: Patrick LaMontagne (Check out his site… he’s quite brilliant.)

“A Special Kind of Immaturity”

It rare indeed to see almost uniform scorn and contempt from pundits across the board (here, here, here, here and here, amongst others) in response to Stephen Harper’s opportunistic gambit to gut the public funding system of political parties.

By destabilizing their own government, the Conservatives have placed Canada at a competitive disadvantage against other states. Through gratuitous partisanship, they have turned an economic crisis into a political one.

They should withdraw their cynical attempt to rewrite election rules and concentrate on what matters: the world economic crisis.

Of more concern is the government’s failure to take any significant steps to proactively address the gathering economic storm — to the contrary, it’s an approach described as “quite the opposite of supporting growth” according to the deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. Rather odd considering that just last week in Peru Harper talked of the need to take “unprecedented fiscal actions if necessary” to fight the global recession and claimed that “fiscal stimulus was absolutely essential.” What changed between then and now?

Update: A bit of an extreme comparison perhaps, but not all that far-fetched.